We are usually asked about:

How do I know that I need treatment?

Mental illness can affect anyone. Below is a brief set of circumstances to help you judge if you should explore treatment.

  • If emotional difficulties make it hard for you to function from day to day.
  • If you don’t want to get out of bed.
  • If you can’t keep your apartment or home clean.
  • If your relationships end in disaster and you don’t know why.
  • If you often have trouble at work.
  • If your child has academic problems at school.
  • If your child has behavioral problems in the home and/or school setting.
  • If your child can’t study or write their school papers.
  • If you or your child’s actions are harmful to yourselves or others.

Mental health treatment should help you cope with your feelings more effectively. As you progress through the therapeutic process, you should begin to feel gradual relief from your distress, develop self-assurance, make more confident decisions, and improve your relationships.

If I seek therapeutic services for help, does it mean there is something wrong with me?

No, it does not. Most people who use counseling services are interested in their personal growth. Many people face normal developmental concerns and may at times feel anxious, angry, lonely, or depressed. Contemporary Therapeutic Services staff members are trained professionals who help adults and children explore alternative coping strategies and ways to deal with the world.

What are some of the benefits of therapy?

Therapy can offer unlimited benefits, some of which include your ability to:

  • Reduce your level of stress.
  • Set limits and boundaries with others.
  • Choose healthy relationships.
  • Better understand yourself.
  • Manage your time, anger, and impulses.
  • Be more productive.
  • Find hope.
  • Increase your self-confidence.
  • Improve your marriage and family relationships.
  • Be in charge of your life.

What should I expect when I call to schedule an appointment?

An Intake Worker will talk to you about your concerns; rest reassured that we uphold the strictest privacy and confidentiality for all information that you are asked to share. An appointment then will be scheduled with a clinician to perform an intake assessment, after which a therapist will be assigned.

If I begin therapy, how should I try to gain the most from it?

We offer many approaches to outpatient therapy and the various formats in which it may occur — including individual, group, and family therapy. Despite the variations, all therapy is a two-way process that works when patients and their therapists communicate openly and when patients are present for all scheduled sessions and actively participate. Also, research has shown that the outcome of therapy is improved when the therapist and patient agree early in the process about the major problems and how therapy can help.

You and your therapist both have responsibilities in establishing and maintaining a good working relationship. Be clear with your therapist about your expectations and share any concerns that may arise.

How can I tell whether therapy is working well?

As you begin therapy, you should establish clear goals with your therapist. Perhaps you want to overcome feelings of hopelessness associated with depression. Or maybe you would like to control a fear that disrupts your daily life. Keep in mind that certain tasks require more time to accomplish than others. You may need to adjust your goals depending on how long you plan to be in therapy.

After a few sessions, a good indication is if you feel the experience truly is a joint effort and that you and the therapist enjoy a good rapport. Likewise, you should be open with your therapist if you find yourself feeling “stuck” or lacking direction once you’ve been in therapy for a while.

Patients often feel a wide range of emotions during therapy. Some uncertainties about therapy result from the difficulty of discussing painful and troubling experiences. When this happens, it can indicate that you are starting to explore your thoughts and behaviors, which is a positive sign that you are on your way to better mental health.

How will I know when I’m done?

You and your therapist will periodically review your progress (or any concerns that you are not making sufficient progress). Although there are other considerations affecting the duration of therapy, success in reaching your primary goals should be a major factor in deciding when your therapy should end. There is some evidence that people feel more satisfied when they are in therapy for longer periods of time; however, you may get the maximum benefit early on in therapy.